The suspect, identified as Kendrix White, was apprehended about two minutes after campus police received reports of the attack on the school’s main grounds. White was being questioned by police and charges were likely to come later.
“I don’t know what his motivation is,” the University of Texas at Austin Police Chief David Carter told a news conference.
All the victims were found in about a one-block area and were men aged 20 or 21, police said. Their names have not been released.
“Earlier this afternoon, a tragedy struck the heart of the University of Texas campus,” University President Gregory Fenves told the news conference.
The person killed was found dead at the scene, Austin-Travis County EMS Captain Rick Rutledge said in a telephone interview.
The university cancelled classes for the day.
“Our prayers go out to all those affected by today’s tragic events,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney)